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Dewar, Vice-Admiral Kenneth Gilbert Balmain (1879-1964)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0064 DEW
Held at: National Maritime Museum
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Full title: Dewar, Vice-Admiral Kenneth Gilbert Balmain (1879-1964)
Date(s): [1893-1964]
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 5ft; 153cm
Name of creator(s): Dewar | Kenneth Gilbert Balmain | 1879-1964 | Vice-Admiral


Administrative/Biographical history:

Entering the service in 1893, Dewar specialized in gunnery. He was a lieutenant in 1900 and became a commander in 1911. In 1912 he won the Royal United Service Institution Gold Medal for his essay on the influence of overseas commerce on the operations of war and its past and present effects. He was Assistant Director of the Plans Division of the Admiralty in 1917, was promoted to captain in 1918 and commanded cruisers on the North America and West Indies Station, 1922 to 1924. Between 1925 and 1927 he was Deputy Director, Naval Intelligence Division. His command of the ROYAL OAK in the Mediterranean in 1928 ended in the notorious 'incident'. In 1929 he became a rear-admiral, was retired the following day and advanced to vice-admiral in 1934. During the Second World War, however, he served again at the Admiralty. He stood as Labour candidate for Portsmouth in 1931. Dewar was one of the founder members of The Naval Review and a strong advocate of naval reform and of improved staff training. He wrote an autobiography, 'The Navy from within' (London, 1939).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Kenneth Dewar, consisting mainly of letters received, including some from Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond (q.v.) and drafts and memoranda relating to Dewar's Admiralty service, there being little official or other correspondence relating to his career afloat. Private and family letters, and papers concerning the court-martial arising out of the Royal Oak affair, were presented subject to certain conditions and access to them remains restricted. There are also diaries kept for both the First and Second World Wars and official service documents.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The papers were presented in 1966 by Dewar's widow, Mrs Gertrude Dewar.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Edited by Sarah Drewery, Jun 2011.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:

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